Sarfaraz Ahmed’s career is almost over: Ramiz Raja

LAHORE: PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja has said that with the induction of Mohammad Haris into the team, the international career of former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is ‘almost over,’ according to a report published in PEN  Saturday.

It has been learnt that the PCB chief in a meeting with Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim said: “We have a new wicketkeeper-batter in the shape of Muhammad Haris. It seems that the career of Sarfraz Ahmed is almost over.”

Haris, a young wicketkeeper batter, played for Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) seventh edition and had an outstanding season. He also made his international debut in the first ODI against West Indies.

Hailing from Mushtarzai, the suburbs of Peshawar, 21-year-old Haris had two forgettable years at the Regional U-19 level, but he excelled the third time around to compel the Junior Selection Committee to induct him into Pakistan’s squad for the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2020 in South Africa.

The former Pakistan captain has not been a regular feature of the playing XI since Mohammad Rizwan filled his slot and has been performing well.

Sarfaraz Ahmed has been part of the team as a stand-in player but has not been given the chance to play.

Ramiz Raja-Javed Afridi row

Meanwhile, the PCB chief has reportedly developed differences with Peshawar Zalmi owner Javed Afridi on what the former calls an interference of the latter in the administrative matters of the PSL.

According to the report, the PCB has given a shut-up call to the Zalmi chief, who has in the past been giving statements related to organisational matters of the league.

“PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja has slammed Peshawar Zalmi owner Javed Afridi for declaring Arbab Niaz Stadium as one of the venues for the upcoming 8th edition of the PSL and nullified his claims saying Arbab Niaz Stadium Peshawar is not fit to hold PSL-8 matches,” the publication said.

The report, quoting sources, revealed that Raja has made it clear that Peshawar will not be hosting matches of the next edition of the PSL.

It has further been learnt that security forces have not yet declared the venue suitable for international matches, it said.

Ramiz said during a meeting that Javed Afridi had told him that the new stadium will be of the highest standard but the overall quality of the stadium was less than satisfactory. He added that it is not possible to hold the matches at the stadium.

He revealed that the entire PSL-8 will be held in Lahore, Karachi, and Rawalpindi. Multan is also a potential venue, he said.

He further stated that Multan Cricket Stadium has the potential to host further international matches.

He also hinted that some matches of the upcoming tours of England and New Zealand can also be played at the Multan cricket stadium.